At the end of the first day of non-essential shops trading, Portsmouth City Council said they are pleased to see that people have the confidence to return to the shops and support the local economy and have praised the majority of shops for making sure their customers were safe while queuing.
Council officers were today (15 July) out in the high streets making sure that retailers were following guidelines and doing their bit to keep customers safe. Businesses had a responsibility to plan and manage their re-opening and were offered support from the council and queuing management guidance ahead of re-opening.
Councillor Steve Pitt, the council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: ""We are delighted that people in Portsmouth are showing they have the confidence to return to the shops and I was really pleased to see that the overwhelming majority of retailers were proactive in managing safe queuing.
"The queues today at some stores were not unexpected and I am disappointed that one retailer, who should have anticipated the high levels of demand, failed to arrange adequate staffing to manage their queues safely. Public safety is our primary concern so we will continue to try to work with them and encourage them to follow the lead of the overwhelming majority of shops in the city who are staffing their queues and prioritising the safety of their customers.
"I would also like to encourage residents to support our smaller, independent businesses in particular to help them recover from this crisis and to go shop, go eat, go safely, go local."
As per national government advice, the council encourages people to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing might be difficult and they come into contact with people they don’t normally meet. It's also crucial that shoppers maintain social distancing both when queuing and in store, and wash their hands as often as possible, including when they return home.
If there are any issues please email RegenerationAdminTeam@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or call the business support helpline on 023 9284 1641.